25 April, 2010

Genesis in one verse

As I wrote earlier, the idea to summarize each book of the Bible comes from this post at Lutheran Forum. My choice:

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
He will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel. (3.15)

The verse Rev. Wilson chose was,
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (1:1)
A commenter made a different suggestion:
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land I will show you." (12.1)
I like both these choices.

What makes this task difficult for me is that I see the essence of Genesis as the Fall, whose effects manifest themselves in subsequent generations. Sin separates us from God, which we perceive as punishment even when it does not bring disaster upon us; God responds through Providence and the promise of redemption.

Naturally, I found no one verse to summarize this; the one above is the one I liked best of those that came close. It clearly refers to the fall, and outside of Christian revelation the choice might seem quite odd, but from the Christian point of view it alludes to Christ and the Redemption; from the Catholic and Orthodox point of view, it also alludes to Mary (the new Eve).

My other candidates follow below the break; click on "Read more" if interested.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they seweed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. (3.7)

[Adam] answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." (3.10)

Then the Lord God said, "See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus to eat of it and live for ever. (3.22)

If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master. (4.7)

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (12.2)

Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as righteousness. (15.6)

Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? At the appointed time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son. (18.14)

Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore have no fear. (50.20-21)

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